Secret Stairs

Secret Stairs are now open. Please follow all social distancing guidelines.

The City’s Public Stairway SystemSecret Stairs

The City of La Mesa has several sets of public stairways in the Mt. Nebo / Windsor Hills area. These stairways were installed many years ago to facilitate foot traffic through the adjacent neighborhoods. La Mesa is one of the few areas in San Diego County that have a system of public stairways. Today, people delight in the discovery of the stairways and take pleasure in facing the challenge of navigating the steep ascents.

Please be aware that these stairs are in very close proximity to homes and we ask that you be respectful of these properties. Please do not engage in loud conversations or make noise during early morning and late evening workouts.

Where to Find Them

View Map.

From the intersection of Windsor Drive and Canterbury Drive, you climb a total of 245 steps, interrupted by two cross streets, to reach the top of Summit Drive. On reaching the 245th step, at Summit Drive, you’re on one of La Mesa’s highest knolls, elevation 830 feet. Continue by following Summit Drive about 100 yards to a second stairway descending east. Follow its 184 steps to Beverly Drive. A third, shorter stairway can be found on Fairview Avenue near Alta Lane. Ascend 44 steps, cross Pasadena Avenue, and continue via the remaining 16 steps and a paved pathway to Vista Drive. It’s only 60 steps total, but with the steep pathway it’s a good workout nonetheless!

Circle back the easy way to your starting point via streets such as Fairview Avenue, Beverly Drive, Vista Drive, or Pasadena Avenue. The red lines on the accompanying map show the approximate locations of the public stairways.